Jewish families settled down along the river Mureș already in the XVII. century in order to became the largest Jewish community in the next century in Transylvania after Alba Iulia. In Tîrgu-Mureș live today about 200 well-respected, Jewish people. Previously, there where many more jewish people, in the middle of the twentieth century more than 6000 identified themselves as belonging to this religion. Between May-June 1944 7,700 Jews were deported from Tîrgu-Mureș and the surrounding area, 5,900 of them never returned home. Many of the survivors fled to Israel, which was established after World War II, in 2006 only 210 Jews were registered in surveys.
The growth of Jewish citizens and the separation of the religion in 1866 brought the necessity to build a new orthodox synagogue, beside the existing status quo ante synagogue. The synagogue was built on the urban area plot of Albert Knöpfler, who sold his ground to the Jewish Community.
The new building was the dream of Manó Szófer, orthodox rabbi and Jakab Singer, general secretary, but the execution was made during the term of office of Ferenc Friedmann, new secretary, because of the death of Jakab Singer. Initially the plans of the architect Jenő Várady were approved and ordered by the orthodox community, but in June 1925 these plans were expended by Ervin Maetz, planning three floors, offices and depository. The construction started in 1927 and finished roughly in autumn 1928. Unfortunately the promised 1.5 million lei for the finalization were never obtained. Tancred Constantinescu Liberal deputy promised this support only because of his election purposes. That is the explanation why the synagogue remained incomplete, without exterior plaster or ornamental elements.
Even after the II World War dr. Emil Erdélyi leader of the Jewish Community tried to obtain financial support from the Joint (American Jewish Distribution Committee) for finishing the synagogue, but unfortunately without success. The benches were brought over form the old synagogue. Already in September 1927 they were sold for granted on an auction to the belivers.
The great synagogue with it imposing dimensions had thousand seats for men and women (others sources mention only 800 seats overall). Beside the great hall the three floors high (15.5 m) there are two polish and Talmud Torah rooms, offices and board-rooms. Most of the religious ceremonies were organized here, as: weddings, circumcision rituals, jeshiva meetings, rabbi initiation ceremonies, councils, cultural performances.
Today it is staying vacant, waiting for tenants...
- Perri (Friedmann) Jicchák, A marosvásárhelyi zsidóság története[The history of Jews in Tîrgu-Mureș], Tel –Aviv,1977
- Sebestyén Mihály, Időtár III, Marosvásárhely törtésneti kronológiája [The historical chronology of Tîrgu-Mureș], Mentor Kiadó, Marosvásárhely,2011
- Man, Eugen, Târgu Mureș/Istorie urbană [Târgu Mureș/Urban history], III, Editura Nico
- xxx, The Protocols of the Orthodox Community in Tîrgu-Mureș
Original text by George Diamantstein
General Meeting in 1868-69Rules and Decrees
Rules and decrees adopted on the General Meeting of Hungarian and Transilvanian Jews Adunărea Generală
Article IV. of 1939 lawRestriction of Jews regarding the economy and public life
Article IV. of 1939 law Restriction of Jews regarding the economy and public life